Demise of the 30 Second TV ad and Need for Product Placement.

‘A Coward Dies a Thousand Deaths’


For my research project I have chosen to look into product placement. Product placement is quite a large area: television (USA), cinema, sports, radio and publishing and within these categories there is a lot more subdivisions. So I have I opted for the most relevant area today, television. As of  28 February 2011, branded ingredients and products have been allowed on our TV screens. There had been many criticism that product placement won’t be accepted in British culture, but it give it time and we shall be swollen with it, like in America.

Ofcom think it necessary to warn the public before a product is placed in a television programme in case we don’t agree with product placement and do not want to expose our children to the horror which is advertising, either that or our heads explode if not prepped.

The Uk’s first product placement was on a day time tv show, and during a cooking section of the programme a coffee machine could clearly been seen in the background. This was quite an event built up by the media but all in all it would not of been noticed by many people watching the programme. It wasn’t until the news reported on it that people actually noticed it. More free advertising for them. A brief background on product placement in the UK.

30 second tv advertising spot are generally unpopular amongst the general viewing public. However due to recent developments it is said that they are on there last legs. Now viewers have the option to fast forward through adverts with Tivo and Sky +, therefore by passing the annoying ad breaks. Online streaming of tv programmes and movies also allow the viewer to pass over the adverts. So the need for product placement in the UK has become apparent.

Online virals are generally more popular than tv commercials, since you can pick and choose what you watch. However there comes along a crazy advert which people want to talk about, even if they don’t want to buy the product. The sheer audacity of the ad makes it an internets sensation and creates amazing brand awareness for said company. Now I feel if tv adverts were more like say the ‘Old Spice’ adverts tv commercials would be more enjoyable. I am aware that internet viral have more manoeuvrability in contents but the ‘Cadbury’s Gorilla’ was such an ad for tv which created more buzz than any other ad before. However the ads could become so random and sporadic that we don’t even know how to follow. I was in America two years ago for the summer and whilst watching Rocky III on a television channel called Spike TV, there must of been an ad break every five minutes for probably as long as the actual film had been on from the last break. This was infuriating and made me hate all the adverts on that channel because they were simply repeated each and every break. It turned an hour and a half film into a three hour ordeal. I think this is a prime example why Tivo was invented in the States.

Now Tivo is made to allow the viewer to record programmes and fast forward through live tv making adverts almost obsolete. However I found it strange that television programmes were advertising Tivo themselves, eg. The Simpsons. This seemed like the television networks where shooting themselves in the foot and condemning adverts there main source of income. However now I realise this is simply to relate to the viewer and make the programme more ‘believable’ thus likeable. After researching into this area I feel that there will be a need for product placement in the future to fund the networks more so and bringing it in at the earlier this year was a good move. A move we should all embrace.